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Dealing with the top 5 wintery health issues



Health is important during any time of the year, but certain health-related issues are typically tied to a particular season. Let’s face it, sunburn and heat stroke are more likely to occur in the scorching summer months, and allergies tend to spike during springtime.


Winter, on the other hand, brings a whole different array of ailments.


Here are 5 of the most common winter health problems, and how we can try to avoid them.


1. SAD - Seasonal affective disorder

Although not at the top of everyone’s worry list, SAD is more common than we imagine. Especially for those who live in mostly sunny countries like Malta, seasonal depression is quite the reality. During this time of year, with shorter days and less sun to soak in, we might feel more tired and generally less enthusiastic. The change might also affect our sleep schedule and the cold might make us less willing to leave the house. It is important to try to stick to our usual routines and not to let ourselves get lazy. If our feelings of depression feel like they are getting out of hand, it is important that we speak to a doctor about them.


2. The common cold and the flu


Contrary to popular belief, these two ailments are very different. Although they can produce similar symptoms, their treatment and severity vary greatly. Both are more likely to occur in the winter months, but a common cold is a virus that is most often the rhinovirus. Washing our hands to avoid it and taking over-the-counter meds to counter the symptoms is enough for the common cold.


When it comes to the flu, however, the symptoms can be more severe and have longer and more serious consequences. Taking the flu shot is possibly the best way to avoid contracting the seasonal flu but washing our hands and keeping a safe distance from sick people is also helpful. Whilst the common cold is a simple viral infection, the flu, or influenza can be dangerous and highly contagious. The main difference between the two is usually a high fever that comes with influenza. Whilst both can lead to health complications, the flu can be fatal.


3. Asthma

Asthma is a condition that is present all year round but with cold, dry air that comes with the wintery months, it can feel worse than ever. Medication should be adhered to rigorously as prescribed and sufferers should avoid staying out in the cold for too long. Exercising in the cold air is a common trigger, so one should consider exercising indoors.


4. Strep throat and sore throat

As with the common cold and the flu, Strep throats and sore throats are sometimes hard to tell apart. Whilst sore throats are more common and don’t usually require close medical attention, sometimes it is an indication of Strep throat. Strep is not a health problem that occurs only in the winter months, but when people spend a lot of time indoors with windows closed and artificial air, it is easier to spread. Strep throat is usually more painful than a simple sore throat, can be accompanied by a high fever and requires antibiotics as treatment.


5. Unhealthy eating and being sedentary


The cold winter months have a particular psychological effect on many people. This season makes most of us want to snuggle up under the covers, with a good book and a hot chocolate, or binge on cheese and whiskey. Sometimes it’s so cold outside that the idea of leaving the house is just daunting so we soon turn into couch potatoes eating comfort foods in between meals. There is no other way to avoid this wintery ailment except by being disciplined and aware. Healthy eating and exercise are recommended all year round. Do not let the cold stop you.

Don’t wait for winter and the health problems it might bring, contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on info@clinipath.com.mt for more information about our health screening programs to ensure that you stay healthy during the winter months.



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